Skip to main content

tv   The Young Turks With Cenk Uygur  Current  August 8, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

4:00 pm
abilities is trying to look out for us." only on current tv! ♪ theme cenk: welcome to one of the last ""young turks"" shows r. on current. we've got this one and they be we've got next week monday through thursday. you can always find "the young turks" on... that's right, it's very obvious, or you tube/what would be the letters, t.y.t., right? i'm just saying. we've got a great show four guys here tonight. later in the program, drums at fox news!
4:01 pm
is hannity out? all right. before we start on the n.s.a., great panel, ana kasparian, legendary cohost of "the young turks." >> that's right, legendary. >> on things that should not have been forgotten were forgotten about how good she is. you should appreciate that lord of the rings reference. >> i got it. >> john iadrola. while you're on the web, hello,, noah roth man. i got away from your nickname, the roth man prophecies, which i've got to get back to. [ laughter ] cenk: all right. let's get started on the n.s.a. president obama was on the tonight show, talked to jay leno
4:02 pm
and talked about spying, really the journalist you want to talk about spying about. >> intelligence gathering is a critical component to counter terrorism. obviously with your mr. snowden and the disclosures of classified information, it's raised a lot of questions for people. a lot of these programs were put in place before i came in. i had skepticism and i think we should have a healthy skepticism about what government's doing. i had the programs reviewed. we put in some additional safeguards to make sure there is federal oversight as well as congressional oversight that there is no spying on americans. we don't have a domestic spying program. what we do have are some mechanisms where we can track a phone number, or an email address that we know is connected to some sort of terrorist threat, and, you know,
4:03 pm
that information is useful. cenk: there was a lot of double talk there. let's break it down. "the new york times" has a new article today saying all right, there's another portion of the n.s.a.'s spying program which you haven't heard about before, where they actually see the content of your emails or your phone calls, as long as they're not targeting you. this is orwellian stuff that i love. the director says: cenk: we don't target them. doesn't mean we don't collect them. oh, just golly gee, they fell in my lap without me targeting them. i'm not making that up. here we go:
4:04 pm
cenk: so, well, there you have it, when you target them, and now, of course another part of this is bulk collection, just selecting all of our data, the problem is they can't do that. you can't do bulk collection either. here's the way around that: the senior intelligencele official said: cenk: so, you got to break down all this talk. they are saying bulk collection is not bulk collection. bulk collection now means you must collect, retain, and then do retrospective analysis. if you do not do all three, then bulk collection magically
4:05 pm
becomes non-bulk collection. i mean, guys, like that's it, it's over. it's the year, we've gone back 19 years? more than that? ok. >> you're being overly nice to them in saying it's double talk. it is not double talk. it is actually lying. we know they can do retrospective analysis. i'm sorry we have to go back to a week and the revelation then that they can use your phone number to go into your email accounts and tough like that. we know low level analysts could go and look through your email history. that is retrospective nationals. even with his double talk, it doesn't hold up. obama lied nine, 10 times in what he was saying there. i understand that the way that they're focusing on targeting is because that's the language used in the laws that established the n.s.a. and also probably did focus grouping and people don't like being tarted.
4:06 pm
i'm not offended by targeting. we targeted individuals in hiroshima. it's effect. it offends me to see the president who i otherwise respect generally to go in there and use the worth spying so often. cenk: obviously, we got off the obama train a while back, right? we're not surprised that he's misleading on this. what's your take on snit. >> i agree that it isn't misleading, per se, it's outright audacity and so common place it's not really offensive anymore. the real problem for the white house is just the slow drip-drip-drip nature of this stuff. it was early june that the revelations came out. it's been new revelation after new revelation. it's not going to go away. it's going to become a campaign issue if only because they can't stop it. there's a whole lot of liberals
4:07 pm
like you and other people who are democratic constituents who are going to pressure members of congress who would want otherwise to support the white house to get more tough on this n.s.a. stuff. >> by the way, if you're curious to whether it works or not, there's a great quote from "the new york times.." cenk: ana, that means it wasn't valuable at all, it doesn't stop a single plot. >> exactly. oftentimes when you have politicians try to defend the surveillance program, they'll use very weird round numbers to give examples of how many terrorists they've caught so far, like we've stopped lee hundred terrorists. 300 is such a weird number, and why don't you tell us like some specifics. why don't you elaborate on that. i like what no with a said.
4:08 pm
every week there are new revelations about the whole spying program. monday, there was news that information is being given to the d.e.a. and then uses that money to catch drug traffickers and people using drugs in the u.s., american citizens. we're supposed to be using this information for so-called terrorists, now we're using it on american citizens. the worst part about this is the authorities lie about where they got the original evidence from, so you basically destroy an individual's right to a fair trial. the constitution is being destroyed in so many different ways. i had love to be an issue in the next election. i just don't know if americans are paying that much attention. cenk: the other problem is they don't have choices. both the democratic and republican candidates agree we don't give a damn about the constitution, romney, bush did the same thing. that's part of the reason i think the libertarians are doing well within the republican party. people are looking at this and
4:09 pm
going what choice do i have? i don't know, i guess rand paul's a different choice. >> i think we would have a debate right now if the conservatives and to some extend libertarians hadn't decided to put all of their concerned in the basket of gun rights. if you look at the sort of country we were back in the 1990's, circuit city debuted this divix player, connected to the internet and people boycotted it, because they were worried the government was going to track what movies you watch. now they track every you do and nobody cares at all. that to me is the most offensive thing. it's not obama on the late night shows, the leaks they're using to their own benefit, it's what i'm seeing or not seeing from the american public. it might be a campaign issue if we could make them care. cenk: one quick correction. president obama is a former constitutional law professor, so
4:10 pm
he must care about the constitution. >> totally, he demonstrated that so far. cenk: maybe he should audit his open class again. one more story here. meanwhile, finally other people are getting outraged regarding the leak, talking to the leavedder of al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, their most dangerous affiliate. 19 embassies closed down, huge terror alert because we got this unbelievably important intelligence. i said from day one, who leaked that and why aren't we doing an international manhunt on those people. there's two reporters who have an interest in this thing. they're with the associated press. they're the guys that the government tamed the associated press to get their information so they could get the people they were talking oh on another intelligence matter. that's what the whole controversy was about in the first place.
4:11 pm
goldman couldn't imagine anything more sensitive in which it was revealed there weral does a her recommunications. did you guys not notice this is the most sensitive intelligence we can have? it got leaked and the government doesn't give a damn at all, because they're the ones who leak it. >> it's disturbing. i saw a lot of people disturbed about it on twitter, but not in the media. the strategic leaks things is something civil libertarians have been concerned with for a long time. people were thinking about, you know, what about the leaks to "the new york times" that were talking about the virus that crippled the iranian nuclear
4:12 pm
program. chris hayes at that time said it's matter of time before we see the sealed indictments that were against new york times reporter for those leaks that were beneficial to the white house. it's a matter of time. they have to be out there. vice president seen them yet. cenk: they ask spokesperson for the state department whether there will be outrage over this, because the white house canceled a bilateral summit with russia because they were so outraged. how about outrage over the most sensitive information we had in the entire intelligence committee. let's find out. >> about the intercepts, is there any frustration on above of the administration that this leak has come out, that you have interseptemberred communications between the head of al-qaeda and a.q.a. >> i would broadly say obviously when accepts active information is provided, without speaking to
4:13 pm
this specific case, obviously that's always a concern to us. >> so no outrage? >> i don't have anything more four on it than that new and she won't ever have anything more for you on that because they're the ones who leaked it. we know now in realtime, the u.s. monitored the heads. the big evident crime is embarrassing the government. if you embarrass the government, you will be an enemy of the state and hunted forever. if you are working in favor of the government, you can release any damn information or intelligence want. it could be the most top secret thing in the world. bob woodward's book had top secret, the most classified information in it and bin laden was on tape saying i read it and i learned from it. bob woodward, free to go, his source, free to go.
4:14 pm
no outrage. the government doesn't give a damn about the law. it only protects itself. real liberals and real conservatives totally agree that our government has run totally amok. when we come back, we've got a fun drama four guys. 1cnn anchor does a total 180 and says my bad, my mistake on a very big issue. over at fox news, catfight central. who is taking out sean hannity. is he going to leave fox news and who brought him down? we'll tell when you we come back.
4:15 pm
>> did anyone tell the pilgrims they should self-deport? >> no, they said "make us a turkey and make it fast". >> (laughter). >> she gets the comedians laughing. >> that's the best! >> that's hilarious. >> ... and the thinkers thinking. >> okay, so there is wiggle room in the ten commandments is what you're telling me. >> she's joy behar. >> ya, i consider you jew-talian. >> okay, whatever you want. >> who plays kafka? >> who saw kafka? >> who ever saw kafka?
4:16 pm
>> (laughter). >> asking the tough questions. >> chris brown, i mean you wouldn't let one of your daughters go out with him. >> absolutely not. >> you would rather deal with ahmadinejad then me? >> absolutely! >> i take lipitor, thats it. >> are you improving your lips? >> (laughter). >> when she's talking, you never know where the conversation is going to go. >> it looks like anthony wiener is throwing his hat in the ring. >> his what in the ring? >> his hat. >> always outspoken, joy behar. >> and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking? >> only on current tv. cenk: back on "the young turks." remember this is only five shows left here on television, but don't worry, you get a whole two hour show on line at the young every single day. fascinating drama in the media world, fox news, is sean hannity
4:17 pm
gone? drudge report actually had a news break. when was the last time drudge broke a story that was true? we'll see if this is true. it turns out he is report that go megyn kelly, who we knew was moving up to prime time might be taking the 9:00 slot of sean hannity. that's shocking to everybody, because he seemed such you a stable part of the fox lineup, and everyone said she was going into prime time. everyone assumed it was 10:00 for van susteren's show but van susteren said i have a contract and i have to be in prime time. sean hannity has a contract that runs through the 2016 elections. roger ails came out and said sean is definitely staying with with the network. that means they're moving him. ok? one other part of the musical chairs, seth smith, roger ails
4:18 pm
was saying with shep, you know, we want to do a different news program with him. he's a liberal, right? kind of. he's as liberal as it gets on fox news. it's possible they move him down and shuffle everyone around. noah, you're the conservative, i don't know if you watch fox news. >> i have multiple t.v.'s in the office. i watch them all. cenk: what's your take away and does it mean anything about sean hannity if he's moved out of a prime time slot. >> i have to give credit to my colleague who was speculating and saw something like this happening, which nobody else really so you. sean's numbers have been good and greta's numbers have been ok, getting better, but yeah, they're going to move kelly into 9:00 p.m. that is all speculation, fox news runs a really tight ship.
4:19 pm
i don't know anything beyond speculation, but 7:00 p.m. is a prime time hour. you can give 7:00 p.m. to prime time hosts and keep your lineup safe and move shep down into the afternoons, if you wanted to do that. it doesn't necessarily mean that they're getting rid of hannity in the prime time lineup, although they could just move some talent around and have a four hour prime time block. cenk: i think you're right, they'll move hannity to seven ok or 10:00 and van susteren to 7:00. the only thing that's rely and interesting, other than the fun drama aspect of this is whether hannity's lookedding his power. now connect this to the rush limbaugh story on the radio, it wasn't just rush being kicked off the second most powerful radio network, it was also sean hannity. if you see him getting kicked off the radio and getting moved down on fox news, maybe that's
4:20 pm
fox news saying in a way because hannity is known for being a republican party operative, right? it's kind of a funny thing, because the whole station is republican party operatives, but they have different characters and hannity's most associated with the republican party talking points, maybe thinking let's deemphasize that and go in a different conservative direction. >> i would like it to be fox and friends and hannity. that would be an awesome move. i don't think he deserves to stay in prime time. the reason he is losing spots on the radio and being shuffled around and probably demoted on fox is he might have good numbers. i'm sure it's fine, but dropping a little bit one to 3% have his and you had jens dies of old age, but there's no higher ceiling for him you. watch his show because you find his smarmy overly attitude to be
4:21 pm
appealing. megyn kelly says horrendous things because she has a pretty face. >> every once in a while she'll come out with something from a conservative perspective. she'll come out and defend women, defend certain things, not necessarily reproductive rights, but some republican man said women who are in favor of reproductive rights are loose. she'll come out, debate that person and be strong about it. that's why she has that moderate label. cenk: moderate is very, very. >> it's fox news, you have to say horrendous things. >> i don't know if you guys do a lot of watching of this channel, because if sean hannity were known for represent talking points, you would think he would
4:22 pm
be supporting republican leadership. he's more an insurgent type. everybody else at least have a point of view, but i don't see them doing a lot of parityar talking points and certainly nothing anti minority. that's just blog-o-sphere talk. >> big o'reilly's is called talking points memo. it might go both ways, meaning republican talking points get on to fox news. nothing you could say would convince me. unfortunately, i've done hundreds of clips about fox news throughout the years, so we watch in that sense, but it might take o'reilly and fox news talking points to get to the republican party, but they're deeply, deeply connected. whatever they challenge, they challenge from the right. hannity to me, the defining moment was right after the election when hannity
4:23 pm
immediately said all right, i switched my mind on immigration. to me, that man is i don't care, right. the party lost the latino vote, so hence i will cover whatever is necessary to the republican party. he's the main represent talking point. >> you don't think he would come to that naturally, because the cost benefit analysis said we can't, i unless we expanded the demo, making it better to promote economic policies. >> no,. cenk: that's political calculation. if you're a politician, it makes perfect sense. if you're a talk show host paid to give your ideas, he, because of political calculation changed his core? that makes no sense at all. you let the republican operative
4:24 pm
know, bill o'reilly is an independent thinker, very conservative. yes, he agrees with the republicans 90% of the time. he doesn't do their talking points. he has a mind. hannity is a robot. >> i think he wants politicians to win more than bill o'reilly does. cenk: i agree. caller: so do i. cenk: all right, ok. >> and i adjust accordingly. when circumstances say i can't support, you know, no immigration reform in order to get lower taxes, i would adjust that opinion. >> adjusting opinion is not being principled. if you truly believe in something you would continue believing that in your show. if you change what you believe in to better your party and increase the chance your party will be elected, that's a different principle. cenk: i don't care if the democrats have a better chance of winning if it turns out that
4:25 pm
i now believe drone strikes are awesome on civilians. i'm not going to change my opinion on that, right? sanjay gupta said on pot, when i said that it has no good effect, whoops: cenk: ana, i know we're going to cover this on our on line show more in depth. what's your take there. is he almost being a politician here and since the poll numbers are moving, he said yeah, yeah, yeah, the official cnn position is whatever the people want, i'm all of a sudden pro can bass or is it genuine? >> i think it's genuine. obviously i'm speculating to his intentions, but he is a professional, looked at
4:26 pm
research. for someone who has so much exposure that he has, accident want to admit that he was wrong about something. you read the piece he write for c.n.n. and watch the videos that he's done, he's very apologetic. he makes a good point about no long term pirri view studies done by these big organizations. we had such a strict prohibition on marijuana that researchers in our own country couldn't research on it. i like that he decided to look into you the further and changed his mind. we're in favor of having people change their minds based on scientific evidence. cenk: i think cnn was not going to have their big doctor say that drugs were ok in the the clear majority of the american people thought marijuana was ok. i think he would have thought that he risked getting fired if
4:27 pm
he said marijuana has good effects. >> you think he was always in favor of marijuana. cenk: i don't think people get up one morning and say i'm going to lie to stay on c.n.n. they know what their bosses want and they generally, kind of believe it, it's just the way they got there was convenient. >> he's been working on a document titled "we'd." dr. gupta and the title is "we'd." i can see him having thoughts about it during the beginning, doing the research and coming to a different conclusion. >> the problem is that he's still admitting he was wrong in the past. he's playing into the incredibly false framing that only if we can prove it that x number of positive effects, it should become legal then. alcohol isn't good because it's good for claw coma.
4:28 pm
that's about why it's illegal. it was made illegal because of the anti hemp movement, because of william randolph hearts, nixon and histogen activities and things like that. this health thing is a complete red herring. even coming over on to the roads of the issue, he's blaming to the issue that is really wrong new that's a great outside the box point, john. i think he would have been scared out of his mind five years ago to say on cnn we'd is good for you, and it would have endangered his job. it would have. i don't think he'd ever done it. i'm glad he's on the right side now. when we come back, an interesting racial ad in the new york mayoral race, but with a twist you might not expect. come back and we'll tell you about it. ç]
4:29 pm
4:30 pm
4:31 pm
cenk: beer back on "the young turks." you know where you could be back on "the young turks" about a week from now? on or on you tube. we've got five shows left on television, but you can get a two hour show on the young every single day. now, let's move on to the new york city mayoral race. he has a race causing i don't know if it's controversy, but raised eyebrows. >> i want to tell you a little bit about bill deblasio first base. he's the only one who will raise taxes on the rich. he's got the boldest plan to build affordable housing and the only one that will stop stop and
4:32 pm
frisk. cenk: oh, twisty twist, it's his dad. i love people like wow, he has a bi-racial family. i think it's an awesome ad. i saw the ad and thought he might win. this is a race that has anthony wiener and christine quinn is winning. she's a little better known in new york than the rest of the country. here comes deblasio. the other democrats say we're going to take a look at that. he's awesome in money and politics. what do you guys think?
4:33 pm
>> let's be fair, even take a look at it is better than the current policy where the mayor goes on the air saying we should expand it, and so that is improvement, i think. what i like about the ad is this is a very liberal area, obviously, but there's a possibility that running an ad like that could have caused negative repercussion, taking advantage of his children. look at the cheerio ad, the bi-racial family there. some might see that as cashing in on his relationship. i hope there won't abresponse like that, but there could have been. cenk: let me just jump in and speak 90% of the time. [ laughter ] cenk: i think he's totally taking advantage of the fact that he's married to an african-american woman. >> if it wasn't his son, i would see it at opportunistic and
4:34 pm
weird. i like the fact that his son is in the ad. we're not talking about middle america, we're talking about new york city and it's very different when it comes to race relations compared to the rest of the country. this will play well especially people have been critical of stop and frisk. i had like to see him win even though i don't live in new york city. cenk: there is a huge number of minorities that have suffered under stop and frisk. even if you think it's great, they don't think it's great, and they vote, too. he says i'm going to fire ray kelly and bring in a new police commissioner. roth man, go. >> let me be a bit cynical here. "the new york times" poll showed physical tie between deblasio
4:35 pm
and anthony weeper in the back. african-americans, dead last, even anthony wiener still has the support of 15% of african-americans. it used to be higher. eliot, it's ridiculous. he's got a real problem with the african-american vote. this feels like a play in the african-american vote to propel him into the likely run off that will be held. cenk: that's exactly what it is. you're right, and i think it's smart. i think it's going to work. it all depends on how many people see that, to be fair. this is as good an ad as when obama ran the coffin ad. workers say i built the thing. i felt like i built my own coffin, looks like it is over, right? this is as good as that. if he increases the percentage appointment among african-americans, no one makes
4:36 pm
a point about that. i think the rest of the democrats are in trouble, the republicans in trouble. here customs deblasio. >> what he said in there was basically true, although exaggerating the boldness of his proposals. if he does jump into the lead, the strikeback from the other candidates that might point out a different way he was being honest there will be deliberate. >> i read the facts on his claims there. i didn't read them as dishonest. at most, it was a sly exaggeration. even that, you know me, i got to love for polities and even if i like him, i'd call out if i thought he was >> he can say it was my souther set up. >> if he becomes the mayor, can i officially be declared the best funded on t.v., even though i won't be on t.v.
4:37 pm
>> i want to go to florida for a second. rick scott has a new voter identification program and voter purge. last time around, he tried to purge 182,000 names from the voter roles, because they were non-citizens. when they investigated and tried to find out how many were not, the number was 198. so out of 182,000, less than 200 were actually non-citizens. gee, i wonder what he was going for. now because of the supreme court, he said i jump right back in it. he's still trying to do voter purse. >> i understand we need to talk about this, but i'm sick of here's one time when they mislead, here their cutting the number of voter i.d., the types of identification we can use. get money out of politics, step one. step two needs to be
4:38 pm
criminalizing. if you kill accidentally, that's a crime. if you dishe franchise somebody, has too should be a crime, i don't think that it's an accident at all, but they continues to that. we do need to decriminalize. organizations need to be defunded, people need to be put in jail when they do this. >> noah rothman go. >> the department of justice is investigating that, which would make it a criminal act, it is a crime. the fact of the matter is the department of justice again let me be very cynical here, the department of justice is very happy about the supreme court ruling that struck down portions of voting right acts. they need an electorate that looks like 2012 and not 2010. there's nothing that the black out as much as voter i.d. law.
4:39 pm
they talked about it during the election. it drilled up arms rates among minorities, hispanics, african-americans. minorities don't turn out in a general election. they need something to dew nate a lot of buzz. this is it. a lot of these are criminal acts, the d.o.j. is willing and and it is their job to go after disenfranchisement. it's not to publish it. cenk: we're going to come back with a really interesting interview. iadrola is the guy who wrote a book about jesus and went on fox news and pounded him on being muslim. we're going to have a whole different kind of interview when we come back.
4:40 pm
4:41 pm
4:42 pm
cenk: back on "the young turks," which of course you can catch on you you with significant little videos. check it out. >> one of the top scholars on religion, this is his current book. he got a little famous there for a while and went on fox news and they kept asking him about eight or nine times, but how can you write about jesus when you're muslim. well, i have viewed him just a little while back. we had a whole different interview where we talked about his book and the incredibly interesting life of gees christ. >> great to have you here with us on "the young turks." >> thanks for having me. cenk: on the fox news stuff, i don't want to spend too much time on it, but come back to it for a variation that i have at the end, but i really, really want to talk to you about your
4:43 pm
book. i'm curious and i've always been curious about the actual historical life of gees and whether it even existed. i've seen things where they made an interesting argument that he was actually a combination of different mythical characters and could be a case that he neve existed. so, can you put that aside for me as definitively no the true. >> most scholars agree there was a man named jesus that existed. we have outside of the new testament, very little information about him, but we have a throwaway mention of him written by a jewish historian, which is remarkable that anyone would have written about this marginal jewish present. most scholars would say yes, this name jesus of nazareth existed, but what he meant is up
4:44 pm
for debate. >> i've also been tripped out by that that the bible is written so may be years after jesus' life, so how in the world could they have known what easy said, given that people weren't writing things down back then. >> yeah, we have this tendency to think of the gospels as though they were some kind of eyewitness accounts of jesus' actions, as though matthew, mark and look were walking around with a pencil and piece of paper writing down what jesus said. these are temperatures of faith written by communities many years after the deaths they describe. the first was written about 1771a.d., the last gospel could have been written between 120a.d. the gospel writers already believed that jesus was the mess
4:45 pm
say i can't or son of god or god himself and wrote these gospels to prove that belief. in a sense, while they're enormously important and valuable for a whole host of reasons and yes, we can get a little bit of a kernel of history out of them, they don't tell us that much about the actual person who walked the earth 2,000 years ago. >> as a no one christian, when i first found out that the gospels were not written by the apostles, i almost couldn't believe it. i bet you a great majority of christians don't know that. it's not the 12 dudes who were hanging out with him, but guys who wrote 40 to 120 years later. >> right. cenk: that makes meg back thinking nah, even if he existed, who cares, they made up all the stuff. >> made up is the wrong way to think about it. what you and i call history, the
4:46 pm
accumulation of facts and dates that are verifiable is totally a product of the modern age. i mean, that definition of history is like 300 years old at most. the ancient mind would have no idea what you mean when you talk that way. they were not interested in revealing facts. they were interested in revealing truths. you don't want to think about the gospels as false. that's the wrong way to think about it, because they wouldn't understand what you mean. the gospels are true because they are meant to i am part a deeper truth about who they believed that this man was, but insofar as they were trying to sort of write down an objective history of jesus' words and actions, they wouldn't even know what you mean by that term. cenk: you're a historian and scholar. do you believe that jesus actually said the things that
4:47 pm
are in the gospels or do you believe those were the things that they either wished he had said, or thought well, you know, these are things if jesus had said it, or i think jesus said it, i'm not really sure, but it would be lovely if he does. >> let me give you a motte foreon how to read the gospels and how they were actually written. this is about revealing truths. you want to stay true to a person by putting it in the guise of a story. you begin with a fundamental truth about jesus, the no, i didn'ted one, the messiah, later on, the god inarnate. facts are just sort of secondary, not relevant.
4:48 pm
as a historian, we can go in and there are tricks we can play to figure out what's more likely historically accurate and less likely historically accurate, but all in all, you're dealing with sacred history, which i've said this four times, i'm going to see it fifth tile, because it's such a hard thing for people to get they're eyes around, based on revealing truth, not facts. cenk: that's so interesting. of course fax news would have seep that portion of the interview and said i can't believe he just called jesus a jew. when we come back, we'll find out what was true and facts or not, including the fact that he was literate. that will make fox news happy.
4:49 pm
4:50 pm
cenk: all right, we're back on the i'm sorry, on th on "the young " you can see is on later.
4:51 pm
on fox news, he'd gone on there and they said you can't really write about jesus christ if you're muslim. that's fascinating. i just realized, jesus christ wasn't christian, he was a jew, so he apparently couldn't write about himself. awesome. now, let's find out who the real jesus christ was in the rest of our interview. cenk: when you look at the actual history of gees himself, what do we know, other than he's jewish, he's got 12 guys following him around, what else do we know? >> he had a lot more than 12 guys following him around. he had a whole host of men and women who followed him. of that group, 12 of them were special, and they were called the apostles. what we know about jesus is that he was a poor, illiterate, uneducated peasant who lived in the low hills of galilee.
4:52 pm
despite being at the lowest rung of the social ladder in his time and place, he was nevertheless through his charisma and power of his teachings able to form this movement that was seen as such a threat to the religious and political authorities of his time that he was ultimately arrested, tortured and executed for it. you can think he's god, a man, that he doesn't exist if you want to, but if i told you that story about anyone, carlin bob, about this poor illiterate pezant who's movement was so profound that he was arrested as a state criminal, that's an interesting guy. that's a guy i want to know more about. that's what led me to write this book. jesus is obviously one of the most pivotal pupil beings in
4:53 pm
history, launching the largest religion in the world. the basic facts of his story are so compelling, regardless of what you think of him, this is a story worth knowing. cenk: on the issue of a threat to the state, how common was it for these messiahs, you said there were plenty of them around in palestine to be sick enough to be a threat to the state to merit crucifixion, was that something common or rare? >> it was actually quite common. we know the names of a dozen or so other messiahs besides jesus. many are mentioned in the new testament. if we know the names of 12 of them, you can probably guess that there were 10 times as many that we don't know about. this was an era that was a wash
4:54 pm
in apocalyptic expectation. people believe the romans, workers showed up promising deliverance from rome and every single one of them was killed for doing so. you have to understand that in first century palestine, simply saying the words "i am the mess say i can't" is an offense. if you're saying to people that i am here to usher in god's rule on earth, you're saying that i'm here to usher out caesar's rule on earth. that's a treasonable offense and many of jesus' fellow messiahs learned the cost of that, just as he did. cenk: based on the facts you're telling me, my interpretation of
4:55 pm
those facts is yeah, they picked his name out of a hat and he was just a lunatic wandering around like many others at the time. let me go to that question. is there any
4:56 pm
>> just the very fact that you're talking about the idea that jesus, you know, thought of himself as god, the notion of a god man is everything. judaism has ever said about god. 19 would have knew what he meant calling himself god, because it invites 5,000 years of jewish tradition, scripture and thought. cenk: one last question for you. i'm going to border on fox news this year, and this is what i meant by coming back to that issue. i'm agnostic, a non-believer. i find this wonderful and
4:57 pm
fascinating. as you read all of this, how can you still believe any of these religions? >> i don't believe in the religion, i believe in god. the only reason that i call myself a muslim is because the symbols and metaphors that islam uses to talk about god are the ones i like, make sense to me. it's not that muslim is more true than christianty, they are all equally true, equally valid ways of expressing what is absolutely inexpressal. if you believe that there is something beyond the material world, that there is something that is truly transcendent, then you need language to talk about it, to make sense of it. that's all that religion is. christianty and islam are not things to believe. they are sign posts to god. they are a means to an end, not an end in and of themselves. cenk: that's wonderfully ironic,
4:58 pm
because my mom is the exact opposite and the exact same and you say. she said i don't want to know what's in the koran. we grew up muslim. she said i don't want to know. all i know is i believe. what you're saying is i know what's in the koran and all i know is i just want to believe. >> it's a simple proposition. you either believe there is something beyond the material world or you do not if that approximate you do not, fine. if you do, do you want to actually experience it, commune with it or do not. if you do not, fine. if you do, then you need help, a way to express what is fundamentally undefinable. religion gives you a language to express it. anything other than that, missing the point of religion. if you focus too marrowy on a single path to god all you will ever find is the path. cenk: fascinating, come right
4:59 pm
5:00 pm
>> john: 27 years ago today, spike lee's first film "she's got to have it" opens in new york city. he's one of our finest filmmakers yet the state of the business is such that he's taken a kick starter to get funding for his latest movie. he's here to talk obama, cinema, how you can help finance his film so do the right thing. that's catchy. i should write that down. dr. rezas a -- aslan, author is here and we'll talk religion and politics and he'll ask why a comedian should be allowed to review a religious scholar. >> dr. sanjay gupta switches gears on the healing powers of cannabis. tonight's f bomb will deal with that if i can remember the words. to